No overnight line was posted on this game due to the injury status of a couple big men. San Antonio’s Pau Gasol is ‘out’ with a finger injury while Cleveland’s Kevin Love (back) is listed as ‘questionable.’
Coincidentally, these teams met in a primetime showdown last season on ABC and Cleveland ran past San Antonio for a 117-103 victory at home. Since LeBron James returned to the Cavaliers, the series is knotted at 2-2 and three of the four games were decided by four points or left. The total has gone 2-2 during this span.
Cleveland looked sharp in Thursday’s 118-103 home win over Phoenix, covering as an 11-point favorite. Prior to that victory, the Cavaliers were mired in a 4-4 SU and 1-7 ATS rut with six of those games taking place on the road.
San Antonio also notched a blowout win this past Thursday, a 118-104 decision over Denver as 13-point home favorite. While the Cavs have struggled versus the number this season, the Spurs have been a great investment and the point-spread rarely matters in their games. Going back to Dec. 6, San Antonio has covered the number in 15 of its 16 wins.
The Spurs did own the best road mark in the NBA at one point but they’ve been jumped recently by Golden State, who is 17-3 as a visitor. San Antonio started the season 15-0 on the road but it’s just 2-4 in its last six away.
Cleveland has gone 13-5 versus the Western Conference this season and four of the losses came on the road. At home, the Cavs have gone 8-1 SU and 5-4 ATS in nine non-conference affairs. San Antonio is 13-4 SU and 9-8 ATS in non-conference action. On the road, the Spurs are 5-2 (3-4 ATS) versus the East but the two losses came by a combined six points.
As expected, both San Antonio (11-5) and Cleveland (12-6) have produced great records versus teams above .500 this season. If you’re expecting a close affair, the Cavaliers have the edge with a 3-0 mark in games decided by three points or less while the Spurs are 3-4 in that role.
East vs. West
Along with the marquee matchup, there are four other non-conference matchups slated for Saturday.
Portland at Boston: This game tips a tad early (5:00 p.m. ET) from TD Garden and the Celtics have been installed as healthy home favorites (-7 ½). The Trail Blazers are in terrible form right now, losing four straight and that includes a collapse at Philadelphia last night. Portland has been dreadful versus the East this season (5-11), especially on the road (2-7 SU, 2-7 ATS). The home team went 2-0 in last year’s regular season games between the pair and both Boston and Portland notched exactly 116 points in their victories.
Phoenix at New York: Despite losing at Cleveland on Thursday, the Suns have gone 8-6 versus the East but six of those wins came in the desert. New York has gone 8-6 versus the West this season, which includes a 5-4 both SU and ATS mark at home. The Suns outlasted the Knicks 113-111 in the desert on Dec. 13 and the ‘over’ (219) connected. Phoenix has gone 1-3 in its last four trips to Madison Square Garden and the ‘under’ went 3-1 in those games. The Knicks (-6) have been a great wager as home favorites this season, going 9-2 both SU and ATS.
Sacramento at Chicago: The Bulls have won three straight against the Kings and they captured a 107-102 win in California last season. The ‘under’ has cashed in six straight and seven of the last eight meetings between the pair. Chicago has been shaky as a home favorite (9-8 SU, 7-10 ATS) this season and it’s only 2-5 from the United Center versus opponents from the West. Fortunately for the Bulls, Sacramento is 5-11 versus the East and only managed to go 2-7 on the road in those games.
Indiana at Utah: The Jazz have gone 10-6 versus the East this season and they’re starting to clean up at home, winning four straight non-conference matchups. The Pacers are 4-5 in non-conference games on the road and they’ve only been able to hold one opponent under 100 in this span. The Jazz swept the Pacers in the regular season series last season, which included a 122-119 shootout victory from Salt Lake City.